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Home>News Articles>Highlights of Accomplishments in 2007>Training on pesticide residue monitoring of vegetables and fruits aimed to promote food safety and consumer protection
 January 24 2007
Strawberry fields in Benguet province, Philippines

Strawberry fields in Benguet province, Philippines

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES - Vegetables and fruits are essential to human diet. However, their production nowadays depends heavily on new technologies, especially in torpical and subtropical climates where many insect and disease problems prevail.

The training on Rapid Bioassay of Pesticide Residues (RBPR) conducted by the Laboratory Services Division (LSD) of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture (BPI-DA) Philippines, in coordination with FFTC, the Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan, Taiwan ROC, and the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) was held at the Baguio Pesticide Analytical Laboratory (Baguio-PAL), Guisad Baguio City last December 11-15, 2006. Scientists from Taiwan ROC served as trainors, and shared technical knowledge and information on the RBPR technology, primarily to promote food safety and consumer protection in the Philippines' largest fruit and vegetable growing province of Benguet. RBPR, is a quick means of screening residue-contaminated vegetables and fruits, in order to stop residue-contaminated shipments for further trading.

Many developing countries in the Asian region have small farms, and farmers are mixing and spraying pesticides considerably, making residue control an almost impossible task. Hence, RBPR was developed in Taiwan. This bioassay method is an economic, rapid, sensitive and accurate screening process, as compared with the laborious chemical analysis method, meant to stop residue-contaminated shipments on-site, toward improving the welfare of consumers.

The training on RBPR was well-attended by the BPI LSD technical staff from the Central Office, representatives from its four Satellite Laboratories, Provincial and Municipal Agricultural Officers from the different provinces in Benguet and the academe. It sought to enlighten or bring awareness to the participants of the alternative method for screening pesticide residue. The participants hurdled the practicum and were anticipating for the implementation of the RBPR in crops in some strategic places all over the country.

Initial talks have been made on the possibility of proposing a three-year project regarding the establishment of a pilot laboratory in vegetable and fruit growing areas in the Philippines namely, Tagaytay, Nueva Ecija, Baguio, Benguet, Atok, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. These places were identified because these are vegetable growing areas. Corollary to this, the Baguio-PAL will also serve as the training center for the enhancement of the capabilities of those who will be tapped to do the analytical services. The project once implemented will help minimize perennial problems on pesticide residues in different agricultural produce, thus, giving the consumers the assurance that their food is pesticide free and safe for human consumption.